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Displaying items by tag: grey Seals

#MarineWildlife - Are 'killer seals' feasting on porpoises off the British coast? Mail Online seems to think so – and presents some shocking evidence.

The video above appears to show a grey seal tearing at the flesh of a porpoise it had killed off Pembrokeshire recently.

While it's not rare to see such seals attack other marine mammals in continental Europe, this is the first time they've been spotted anywhere near Britain or Ireland.

Dafydd Rees, who works with a wildlife cruise company and shot the footage, said he'd "never seen anything like it before" on that stretch of coast.

Britain is already home to nearly half the world's entire population of grey seals. But those resident locally have never before been known to eat anything more than fish.

Experts fear, however, they they may be developing a taste for porpoises caught in fishing nets – and graduating from weakened specimens to healthy young porpoises for their energy-rich layer of fat.

And it's prompted some fears that people swimming near seals might be next on the menu!

Mail Online has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - Marine scientists think they've found the answer to the mystery of dead porpoises washed up on French and Belgian beaches with dog-like bite marks.

As the Irish Examiner reports, their research points the finger at grey seals - forced into competition with the cetaceans over the fish that make up their diets.

Indeed, it may be overfishing by humans that's prompted the seals to turn on their fellow marine mammals as commercial fishing stocks dwindle in the North Sea.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Fishermen have condemned the appalling killing of two baby seals whose heads were nailed to signs outside a wildlife sanctuary in Dingle last week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, staff at the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary were subject to the "sickening" sight on Thursday morning, which was alleged to be connected to a campaign among local fishermen urging for a cull of seal numbers in the area.

However, as the Irish Independent reports, fishermen have spoken out to decry the grisly incident.

Michael Hennessy, skipper of the fishing vessel Realt na Mara, said: "This kind of thing is not going to do any good for any campaign, and fishermen would not lower themselves to do something like that."

Michael Flannery of the Irish Fish Producers' Organisation (IFPO) added: "Fishermen are calling for a seal cull but we want this carried out in an organised, approved and humane way."

According to the Irish Examiner, Sea Shepherd Ireland has added a €2,000 reward to the €5,000 offered by fellow animal rights group ARAN for anyone with information leading to the arrest or conviction of those responsible for the illegal seal killing.

Meanwhile, two grey seals pups currently being cared for at the Dingle sanctuary may be released earlier than expected due to fears for their security.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Fears are growing of an illegal cull of marine wildlife after a seal and dolphin were discovered dead on a Waterford beach - just hours after two seals were found dying from bullet wounds in the same location.

TheJournal.ie reports that the wounds on the two animals found on Tramore Beach on Thursday are also believed to be from gunshot.

Two grey seals were euthanised the previous evening after they were discovered gravely injured with "horrific" wounds on the same beach.

A spokesperson for the Irish Seal Sanctuacy (ISS) has called for a post-mortem of the animals to determine the exact cause of death - but pointed the finger at an illegal cull allegedly carried out by local fishermen.

"We’re not against a properly regulated cull," said the ISS's Johnny Woodlock, "but it’s the guy who goes out with a shotgun and takes potshots, that’s what we’re against.”

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE, including an image that many may find distressing.

Published in Marine Wildlife

A total of 16 were found, mainly grey pups and juveniles - which are both protected under European legislation - were recovered from Strangford Lough and Dundrum Bay.

The Environment Agency said circumstantial evidence indicated interaction with some form of net in at least two cases, but there was no proof the seal deaths resulted from legitimate, licensed fishing activity.

"Neither is there evidence linking these deaths to the marine current turbine being trialled in the Strangford Narrows, as this would not inflict the sharp cuts seen," the agency said.

Declan Looney, senior wildlife inspector from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, said: "Members of the public can assist by reporting all dead seal strandings to NIEA on 028 4461 5520." More from the Belfast Telegraph HERE.

 

Published in Marine Wildlife

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

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At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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